Mini Mission Monday ~ Little Stuff

Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It takes the guess work out of decluttering and makes it easy and “fun” for you to achieve some quick decluttering.

This week I thought you might like to have some mini missions that fit with Sanna’s mission of getting rid of 20 little items a day. Getting rid of these may seem not to make much of a visual difference to your home, but you might be surprised how getting rid of small things can make a big difference. Getting rid of lots of little stuff can make finding more important stuff much easier. Drawers, shelves, handbags, cabinets, boxes and baskets are all designed to keep little things together, but when they are jam packed things can get messy. And then there is the overflow. Anyway, lets see if we can find at least five little things per day to declutter this week. And if you don’t have any of the items I mention then see if you can come up with some categories of your own that you

Monday – Declutter five small excess stationary items.

Tuesday – Declutter five small long time unused items in your kitchen.

Wednesday - Declutter five small long time unused items in your mending kit.

Thursday – Declutter five small makeup items that you don’t really like.

Friday – Declutter five “I might need” items from your handbag. This makes finding your keys, mallet wallet and cell phone a lot easier.

Saturday – Declutter five pieces of jewellery that you often pass over.

Sunday - Sunday is reserved for contemplating one particular item, of your choice that is proving difficult for you to declutter. Whether that be for sentimental reasons, practical reasons, because the task is laborious or simply unpleasant, or because the items removal requires the cooperation of another person. That last category may mean that the item belongs to someone else who has to give their approval, it could also mean there is a joint decision to be made or it could mean that the task of removing it requires assistance from someone else. There is no need to act on this contemplation immediately, it is more about formulating a plan to act upon or simply making a decision one way or another.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Eco Tip for the Day

Buy local produce where possible as this cuts down on fuel required to transport products from further away.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Because everyone needs a little hammer in their purse, ready to pull out a moment’s notice.

    • I thought it was one of those words used a little differently in Australia than the US. 😀

    • Ha ha, that’s funny. I wondered what the hell you were on about there for a minute. Even after reading that mission I still didn’t see the mistake. That is the problem with knowing what I thought I wrote. I just overlook the mistakes. Proof reading for me is almost a waste of time.

      I fixed it but left the mallet with a strike through it so people would know what your comment was about. And so they don’t miss the laugh.

      • LOL @ Colleen & Jenny – I hadn’t caught the typo either and was confused by Jenny’s comment. That’s hilarious!

    • I loved it! You never know you may need to pound your head or someone else’s! Hahaha 😉

  2. Jenny,
    That’s very funny! I can see you like to be prepared for anything and everything. I on the other hand will need to be content with removing all of my store receipts. In my effort to remove all clutter from my home, I find I am continually running to the store for something I just finished up. Yesterday it was light bulbs and coffee filters. Fortunately there is no shortage of stores where I live.

    • Actually I was referring to her typo in the Friday challenge. A mallet it a hammer, and I assume she meant to say wallet. I don’t carry a hammer around in my purse. Actually, I’m down to going out without a purse, wallet in one pocket, ipod in the other, and keys clipped to a belt loop. Unfortunately, now when I do need to carry a purse (clothes with no pockets, etc), I’m much more likely to forget it because I’m not used to carrying it. Maybe I could tuck a hammer in another pocket though…..

      • Jenny,
        I caught the type-o (you are not alone Colleen with finding your own typo-s; we all do this). I did however take you verbatum on your comment because I have a tiny hammer in my bedroom drawer that I could easily slip into my smallest purse if I felt I had a need. Just me, not catching the joke! What else isn’t new??

        • I have a small hammer too that I use when doing papercraft. It would fit in my small purse. Oddly enough I have never thought to carry it “just in case’. 😉

    • Hi Jenny, when I generally only go grocery shopping once a week even with my limited supplies in the house. If I do run out I just improvise. Although I must admit living without being able to make a coffee would cause a panic trip to the shops. I will add that you do get better at knowing exactly how much you need on hand, how long that will last and, as a result, shopping weekly more efficiently.

  3. I am beginning this mission again from tomorrow.

    For the last 5 and a bit months I have had two house guests living with me. They moved out on Thursday and I can finally get into the bedrooms they were staying in and give them a really good declutter and clean. I’d like to fully empty all the drawers and the wardrobe in the biggest room first. Also I have too many books on the bookcase in there, I’m sure I will find some that I am unlikely to read, or to read again.

    As to Monday’s challenge – I have a stationery drawer in the bureau in my hall so I shall pull that out and sort it. 5 items should be easy to find. I’ve already taken some notelets and cards to the charity shop – with the internet, there is less need to send little notes to people although sometimes it is nice to still write now and again.

    • Hi Diana, I am going to start this today myself. I have been busy with visitors and visiting myself over the last week or so. I will begin today with ten things and photograph them for the blog.

  4. Strange thing: I was sitting here reading today’s post (actually tomorrow, since it’s still Sunday in the U.S. 🙂 ) and our tv went out so I thought, get off my butt and do some of these because the suggestions this week are really do-able! I went through old business cards that had been in a stack of my desk and cut it in half, tossed some old electronics cords that go to “I have no clue”. Found some old unused office supplies that I can take to work and use. Some dried up old rubber bands went into the trash. The small notepad that I use for my day-to-day lists is almost empty and I found a brand new one in my desk at home. Guess that means I don’t have to snag one from work! hee hee. I feel good – this is really great.

    I know that the time has come again to run through my jewelry. I have so much that I don’t wear. What is the point of keeping the unloved pieces? Nope, time to get real.

    Yesterday was really awesome, though. I finally bought a new chair that goes with our couch, so I needed to get rid of the old, torn-up, floral chair. The neighbor was having a yard sale, so I put the chair out with a free sign on it. It didn’t last 20 minutes before someone put it in their car. YAY!!

    • You are on a tear there with your decluttering Michelle. I liked your list of things. You gave me a few ideas for what I can get rid of this week. I also have something to list on ebay.

  5. Ann in Boston

    Wow, Michelle, thanks for sharing. I can feel your excitement in your post!
    I agree, this is totally doable. I like this one, Colleen, esp. the reference to things in our handbag for ” just in case”.
    “Just in case”never happens and we are toting so much stuff around. Anyhow, we always seem to be near stores wherever we go. Not to mention that it takes the weight off our shoulders to clean our handbags out. Great post!

    • I am glad you are finding these missions doable. They are true mini missions this week, in more ways than one. And you are right about the handbag thing. I rarely touch up lipstick, in fact I rarely bother to wear it, so why do I need a spare in my purse. A hairband however is very useful. I don’t need a notebook either because I can use my cell phone.

  6. I am going out of town tomorrow until the end of the week. I’m one of those people who want everything up to date and spic and span before leaving (sends my husband crazy) and I’ve been trying to get ahead on my 20 items too. A box went off to Goodwill this morning, usually I like to fill it completely up before I drop it off but I wanted another box out of the house.

    Hey an update on the CD situation. You might remember that my husband was reluctant to get rid of our cd collection and I decided to tackle it on an individual CD basis rather than a collection basis? He’s doesn’t really understand digital music and is reluctant to not have CD’s. I sat him down in the garage yesterday and opened a CD storage box and we went thru them one by one. Out of the 180 CD’s – he only had 15 ‘definately must keeps’ and 3 or 4 maybes. He was surprised too. I want to go thru the CD’s with my daughters too when I get back just in case there is something they want to keep but its sounding promising.

    • Moni, the CD progress is absolutely Fan-Flippin-Tastic! I am completely impressed. Oh yeah, I’m like you – before a trip, my ducks must be in a row so when I get back, I don’t have to fret about anything! 😉

      • Michelle – thanks, I send my husband around the bend with the flurry of housework and no loose ends. However he is the first to admit that it is really nice walking into a nice clean house when we get home. Of course, the time we came home to an un-sanctioned party, not so.

        • Michelle – had a change of plans and aren’t going away as my daughter has injured herself and unable to attend her ballet workshop. So at least while we’re running around doctors, specialists etc the housework is done.

    • Moni,
      Woo Hoo! You must be so happy. 180-15…amazing! Congratulations!

    • Hi Moni, wow that was an impressive ah ha moment for your husband. I am certain that my husband wouldn’t part with any of his. However he did, some time ago, take them all out of their cases and store them in sleeves together in three small boxes. This reduced the space they took up greatly. We never actually use the CDs but legally one must own them physically once uploaded to prove that you purchased the music. Although it is unlikely that any authority would ever question this I would rather play it safe.

      • Colleen – the majority of our music was bought for myself or the kids as they grew up and like clothes from 10 or 20 years ago, if it ain’t a classic, it had its day. As long as he has favourites on cd, he’s happy. My older daughter has indicated that she doesn’t want any CDs – the rare occasion that she’s wanted to hear a ‘blast from the past’ she went straight to YouTube rather than dig thru boxes and says it is usually only one or two songs from an album, so she could always get just those from iTunes if need be. So just one more person in the family to get past and then it’s green light.

        If you think about it, my generation saw records go out, cassettes come and go and it looks like CDs are being replaced by digital music. The music that I had on cassette as a teenager, I didn’t replace with a CD. Once a cassette got mangled in the cassette player that was that. So maybe because CDs have been more durable and had a bit more longevity as a disk, we haven’t been conditioned to accept their demise. Who knows, a philosophical thought.

        Re: copyright, I have been told that a photo of a cd collection will suffice for proof for uploading to a computer, but who knows. The chance of a dawn raid is slim, but yes why risk it.

  7. In the categories of stationery, kitchen, makeup and jewelry, this would be a good time to let go of the lesser pieces, bumpf as Doodle would say, and start using the “good stuff” that most of us save for special occasions. Every day should be a special occasion. Michaela did it by starting to use/wear her beautiful Prada bag. We are all deserving of using the “good stuff” that we own, but for some reason refuse to use on a regular basis. I did this years ago and am so happy that I did.

    Love the comments on the mallet/hammer. Made me want to sing Peter, Paul and Mary’s song, “If I had a hammer” 🙂

    • Hi Kimberly, I am, as you know, all for using the good stuff all the time. I only have one very small selection of make-up, no good and everyday. I only have one good leather bag (no fancy brand) that I use always. Etc Etc. In some areas I don’t have “the good stuff” just what I like to use, no fancy china etc.

  8. Thanks for these mini missions because I need to keep going with my downsizing.
    Little stuff counts too.

    I just found some pens and highlighters that I never use so they are in the donate box and then I happened upon my cutlery drawer and found several more items. Nice.

    Love the ‘mallet’ mistake. Some places I feel like I need to carry a mallet.

    • Hi Ron, glad to be of help with these missions.
      As for that hammer there are occasions when it is a good thing I don’t carry a mallet in my purse. I could end up in jail. Ha ha!

  9. Colleen, this is a good one. The only place I won’t have something to work on it my purse. I don’t carry one. All the rest except the stationary will be things of Mom so will have to go slow and carefully. I think she is ready though so will make some progress.

  10. Yes, it is the little things in life that often make the biggest difference!

  11. Today’s challenge was easy for me. I just got rid of the remaining “world’s tackiest postcards” that I won’t send. Someone gave me a couple booklets of them about 20 years ago, and they’ve been fun to use to send a quick note to friends, but I’ve sent my favorites. The rest of the cards have been sitting there all this time. It wasn’t much, but it was something.

    On the other hand, I probably have donated 100 items in the past couple of months, many of which were toys my daughter finally agreed to get rid of.

    In the aspiration category, years ago, I loved small fountains. I found a sale on fountain motors, and my husband and I bought four of them (along with a fountain-making book), thinking we’d make some. Fifteen years later, no fountains. I gave them to my niece, who probably will do something with them.

    • Donna – are the fountains water fountains or are the something else?

      • Moni, the motors are for little tabletop fountains. At the time, we had two or three fountains and liked them. They made such a nice sound. If my niece ends up making a fountain anytime soon, I’ll see if Colleen will post the picture. It can serve as inspiration for what others can make with items we no longer have an interest in.

        I’d love to make a dent in our CD collection. I’m sure we have at least 1,000 and probably more. I took a batch of them and put them in a holder (holds probably 200ish), which saves some space. But still . . .

    • Hi Dona B, thank you for your comment, it has inspired me to go through my handmade cards and get rid of the ones I always pass over. I’ll donate them to the thrift shop tomorrow.

      Loved your fountain story. I bet you are glad to have that stuff out of your house and off your conscience.

      • Glad it served as an inspiration. If only I could accept the fact that I probably won’t do anything more with all the rubber stamp stuff I have. I got rid of a few items in my last donation, but I should get rid of the lot.

  12. I found most of our adhesive bandages had “died”, so that was an easy 4 boxes of little stuff gone–they just accumulated over time and age or hot weather finished them off. Fortunately for grandson, there was one good box. While looking for a good one, found expired sore throat medicine and 3 empty prescription containers (husband’s). So that stuff almost decluttered itself. I love it when that happens. I don’t carry a purse, but do take a tote bag to dr. appts. but empty that each time, since the appointment book and any instructions or sample medications are in it along with the newspaper or other reading material. It is easy to overlook how much little stuff we have. Guess this was more Sanna’s challenge than the missions, but they both have me thinking. Keep up the good work, Colleen. We all appreciate it so much.